Juvenile Law Louisville

JURISDICTION OVER JUVENILES

Louisville Attorney

Juvenile Session of the District Court has exclusive jurisdiction over:

  • any child under 18 living or found in that county
  • any person who allegedly committed a public offense prior to his or her 18th birthday

A child sixteen (16) years of age or older taken into custody upon the allegation that the child has committed a motor vehicle offense shall be treated as an adult and shall have the same conditions of release applied to him or her as an adult.

STATUS OFFENSES

It is a status offense when the juvenile:

  • Is beyond the control of the school or beyond the control of parents
  • Is an habitual truant from school;
  • Is an habitual runaway from his or her parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child;
  • Has committed an alcohol offense in violation of KRS 244.085;
  • Has committed a tobacco offense as provided in KRS 438.305 to 438.340

teen male portrait wearing handcuffs

Conference with Court-Designated Worker

Before judicial proceedings are commenced alleging the commission of a status offense a conference with a court-designated worker is held where it is decided whether or not to refer the matter to court or to a social service agency.

When a Complaint is Filed- Preliminary Inquiry Procedures

  • Preliminary intake inquiry is conducted by the court-designated worker to determine the validity of the complaint, and, if valid, whether the interests of the child or the public require that further action be taken.

Outcomes of a preliminary intake :

  • No further action be taken and dispose of the complaint;
  • Referral to an appropriate individual or social service agency for proper action;
  • Entry into diversionary agreement
  • Referral to court for informal adjustment or
  • Referral to court for formal hearing

Bifurcated Hearings In Juvenile Proceedings

Juvenile proceedings shall consist of two (2) distinct hearings, adjudication and a disposition. . .

610.100 Investigation — Informal adjustment.
(1) Unless there is a suitable prior disposition investigation report or unless waived by the child who is represented by counsel, before making disposition of the case of a child brought before the court under the provisions of KRS Chapters 630 or 635, whether by complaint pursuant to KRS 610.020, or by reason of having been taken into custody pursuant to KRS 610.190, the judge shall cause an investigation to be made concerning the nature of the specific act complained of and any surrounding circumstances which suggest the future care and guidance which should be given the child. The investigation shall include an inquiry into the child’s age, habits, school record, general reputation, and everything that may pertain to his life, and character. The investigation shall also include an inquiry into the home conditions, life, and character of the person having custody of the child. The investigation shall also include an assessment of the parent or guardian’s ability to pay all or part of the cost of the child’s care and treatment should the child be ordered into a treatment program or placed on supervised probation. The result of the investigation shall be reported in writing to the court and to counsel for the parties three (3) days prior to the child’s dispositional hearing and shall become a part of the record of the proceedings. . .

Financial penalty when child found delinquent.
Parents may be required to pay a financial penalty when child is found delinquent.

635.020 Criteria for determining how child is to be tried

 

  1. (1) If, prior to an adjudicatory hearing, there is a reasonable cause to believe that a child before the court has committed a felony other than those described in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a misdemeanor, or a violation, the court shall initially proceed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
  2. (2) If a child charged with a capital offense, Class A felony, or Class B felony, had attained age fourteen (14) at the time of the alleged commission of the offense, the court shall, upon motion of the county attorney made prior to adjudication, and after the county attorney has consulted with the Commonwealth’s attorney, that the child be proceeded against as a youthful offender, proceed in accordance with the provisions of KRS 640.010.
  3. (3) If a child charged with a Class C or Class D felony has on one (1) prior separate occasion been adjudicated a public offender for a felony offense and had attained the age of sixteen (16) at the time of the alleged commission of the offense, the court shall, upon motion of the county attorney made prior to adjudication, and after the county attorney has consulted with the Commonwealth’s attorney, that the child be proceeded against as a youthful offender, proceed in accordance with the provisions of KRS 640.010.
  4. (4) Any other provision of KRS Chapters 610 to 645 to the contrary notwithstanding, if a child charged with a felony in which a firearm, whether functional or not, was used in the commission of the offense had attained the age of fourteen (14) years at the time of the commission of the alleged offense, he shall be transferred to the Circuit Court for trial as an adult if, following a preliminary hearing, the District Court finds probable cause to believe that the child committed a felony, that a firearm was used in the commission of that felony, and that the child was fourteen (14) years of age or older at the time of the commission of the alleged felony. If convicted in the Circuit Court, he shall be subject to the same penalties as an adult offender, except that until he reaches the age of eighteen (18) years, he shall be confined in a facility or program for juveniles or for youthful offenders, unless the provisions of KRS 635.025 apply or unless he is released pursuant to expiration of sentence or parole, and at age eighteen (18) he shall be returned to the sentencing Circuit Court for proceedings consistent with KRS 640.030(2).
  5. (5) If a child previously convicted as a youthful offender under the provisions of KRS Chapter 640 is charged with a felony allegedly committed prior to his eighteenth birthday, the court shall, upon motion of the county attorney made prior to adjudication, and after the county attorney has consulted with the Commonwealth’s attorney, that the child be proceeded against as a youthful offender, proceed in accordance with the provisions of KRS 640.010.
  6. (6) A child who is charged as is provided in subsection (2) of this section and is also charged with a Class C or D felony, a misdemeanor, or a violation arising from the same course of conduct shall have all charges included in the same proceedings; and the court shall, upon motion of the county attorney made prior to adjudication, and after the county attorney has consulted with the Commonwealth’s attorney, that the child be proceeded against as a youthful offender, proceed in accordance with the provisions of KRS 640.010.
  7. (7) If a person who is eighteen (18) or older and before the court is charged with a felony that occurred prior to his eighteenth birthday, the court shall, upon motion of the county attorney made prior to adjudication, and after the county attorney has consulted with the Commonwealth’s attorney, that the child be proceeded against as a youthful offender, proceed in accordance with the provisions of KRS 640.010.
  8. (8) All offenses arising out of the same course of conduct shall be tried with the felony arising from that course of conduct, whether the charges are adjudicated under this chapter or under KRS Chapter 640 and transferred to Circuit Court.